• "Rendell's genius with the whodunnit form works to make everything doubly vital. Without being remotely didactic, she is the pre-eminent thematic novelist of her day . . . Jane Austen would have approved of Rendell's cliché-dissecting wit . . . It's impossible to imagine her writing anything devoid of import. She is one of the rare breed that make you feel privileged to be around at the same time as they are. She doles out death so that we might feel more alive"

    New Statesman